Urban and Rural Bhutan, the Land of Happiness

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
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If I ignore some weekend trips then my last long trip was Yuksom & Darjeeling on December 2014. It was very short time long distance trip. I remember that after returning from regular office I started driving at 10 PM from Kolkata and drove for next 22 hours to reach Kalingpong. I faced very pathetic jam near Dalkhola and fro that the journey becomes so long. Even during returning I drove for 22 hours to reach Kolkata and then after 4 hours of sleep went to office. On that trip we enjoyed a lot but I became very tired after the trip.

Here is the trip log – http://www.bcmtouring.com/forums/threads/extended-weekend-to-the-birthplace-of-sikkim.62328/#post1086914

Before we start -
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My plan was to get the permit for Bhutan from Kolkata itself but did not get time to submit the forms within time. Took everything so that I can submit the forms soon after reaching PhuntSholing .


Day 1, 18th April 2015.


This time my family was with me so I decided not to choose such overnight or continuous long drive. Also I didn’t want to take NH-34 due to experience of Jam in last trip. The Dumka Bhagalpur road is not safe for night time, considering the entire situation I choose Dumka-Bhagalpur road to roach Siliguri and start from Kolkata at 3:30 AM - April 18th 2015.
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Our 1st 5 min stop near bolepur
 

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 1 continued ......


After starting from Kolkata we reached bolepur very fast through NH2 & NH2B then after taking a 5 minutes break we move towards Dumka via Suri. The road was empty and super smooth and I thought that I should cover most of the road by Lunch time. But everyone in my car was looking for some tea and some snacks. We took our first break at Massanjore Dam to have our breakfast. It was good to have the breakfast sitting beside the dam. I was searching for some local food (Muri & Ghugni) but felt very bad that they only had butter and egg toasts.
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Massanjore Dam during our breakfast

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Finished our breakfast by 9:00 AM and start moving forward towards Dumka. Last time when we crossed the same road the surrounding was covered with darkness and the pin drop silence was by the creaking sounds of the tire. This time at the daylight the sharp curves of the road is clearly visible and we could see the surrounding covered with forest. The pitch dark roads with curves were shining in the morning sunlight.

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Road from Suri to Dumka

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Road from Suri to Dumka

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Road from Suri to Dumka

Being on such beautiful road I was afraid of the road condition from Dumka to Bhagalpur. And my guess was right the road condition from Dumka to Bhagalpur was hell. I am sharing some of the snaps taken on the road. Finally we reached Bhaglpur at 1:30 PM after crossing the hell roads and jam on Bhagalpur rail bridge.

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Dumka to Bhagalpur

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Dumka to Bhagalpur

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Dumka to Bhagalpur
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Dumka to Bhagalpur
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After crossing Bhagalpur the road was pretty smooth and we reached Siliguri at 6:00 PM. As it was already evening and I did,t know the road condition to Hasimara we stopped at Siliguri for the night. And planed to start at early morning so that we can get the permit as soon as possible.

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Road from Bhagalpur to Purnia.

We covered only 680 KM for the day. The plan was to reach Jaigaon on the same day but could not happened due to the road condition from Dumka to Bhagalpur


 

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 2, 19th April 2015.

We started early morning from Siliguri towards Bhutan, as we have already explored most of the part of Sikkim; the next place to travel was Bhutan with an economical budget. We planned the trip within a month and hence forth were all set ready to rejoice the beauty of Bhutan. As it was Sunday the immigration office would not function for very late hours of the day, It was necessary for us to complete all formalities of permission for both persons and vehicle to ensure that we can move ahead and reach Thimpu on the same day.

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Early morning on the road from Siliguri to Jaigaon.

The road from Siliguri to Jaigaon was awesome as there were tea gardens on either sides and could also see hills and rivers flowing. We were well in time to be the 2nd one to get the permission done. It took only half an hour to get it done. In Bhutan the key to get things done is just a sweet smile. Wear that and you will be through every odd. From the immigration office we moved to RSTA office to clear the next set of permission for our vehicle.

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Got the permission for Thimpu and Paro

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Vehicle permission.

By 12:00 PM we were done with all formalities and moved to Thimpu. On the way we stopped in a lonely place to have a small picnic with some homemade food and admiring the valleys around.

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Crossed the border ..

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Having small picnic with home made food.

Thimpu is encroached by hills and situated at the base of these hills. As we were moving ahead we could not see the city as it was enveloped by the hills which stood as solders to the city. I drove uphill and the roads were covered with clouds which greeted us as enter the city. The clouds hindered visibility but even though it was a nice feeling to penetrate through it. As enter the capital my parents were rejoiced to admire the special art of building houses. Each house was so beautiful to look at; the architectural excellence was worth praise. The windows and roof top were crafted in block structures with mantras printed in vibrant colors.

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Entering Thimpu.......

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Entering Thimpu...

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Yes .. We reached The Capital of Bhutan

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Wider view of the city

Thimpu is a nice place to visit in winter as you can experience snowfall here. We reached Thimpu by 4:30 PM. Bhutan has thin population and so it is easy to find a place to park your car even in the main market place by paying a parking fees Rs. 10-15 / hour. In the evening we walked down the lanes of the market and were delighted to glance at super bikes aligned near the football stadium. If you see people moving around in Land Cruisers, Hilux or Santa Fe, don’t be surprised as Bhutan imports numerous such cars.

People out here are good at cooking pork and beef items and hence you can try out some of the local cuisines made out of it. After having supper, we enjoyed some family time sitting near the clock tower at the center of the market.

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View when we were sitting near the clock tower

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View when we were sitting near the clock tower
 

pyal_p

Well-Known Member
Beautiful...... let it roll buddy, I am glad we both have same taste and trust in the same car, The mighty Bolero......
 
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